Jonathan Drori, the man who led the effort to create bbc.co.uk, was in Dublin recently talking about how digital is changing the way educators must interact with students and how businesses could interact with consumers. His central point was around the importance of creating what he called compelling experiences for users of systems. This is his checklist for a compelling experience;

  • Well-defined (easy to describe)
  • Fresh (new / different)
  • Accessible (easy to do or replicate)
  • Immersive (engages multiple senses)
  • Significant (is a big deal)
  • Transformative (changes the way you think / feel)

Drori talks about how tired brands often use the medium of advertising to convey the compelling experiences that people have with their products and services. Take this recent EuroDisney TV ad, and see how the focus has been shifted from the facilities in the theme park (which everyone knows about) to the moment the kids actually hear their parents have booked the trip;

The moment when parents reveal a planned family trip to EuroDisney is always a compelling experience for everyone in the family, even more so because of the manner the parents undertake  the ‘reveal’ in the scenario depicted. EuroDisney is inviting parents to create their own compelling experiences for themselves and their kids around their product. Compelling experiences such as this have a high degree of memorability and talkability. These are the real fuel for your communications objectives.

Too often brands spend valuable communication budgets harping on about how great they are. Wouldn’t it be far more impactful to share the compelling experiences that customers are having thanks to your company’s product or service offering? Michael Schrage, who lectures about digital business over at MIT, writes today on HBR that when running a company event:

Customers — not your company’s products and service innovations — should be at the center of customer events. Make their engagement — not your messaging — the core of your event planning.

This applies equally to all engagements that you have with your customers.